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Coronavirus in North Carolina: Gov. Cooper announces 'Count on Me NC' training for restaurants, Phase 2 underway in the state

For immediate questions, call the North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline at 866-462-3821 or 2-1-1.

WFMY News 2 is providing daily coronavirus updates with the latest information from emergency leaders, the state's task force, health departments, universities, school districts, and a lot more.  

FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2020

9:00 p.m. - Gov. Roy Cooper and North Carolina health officials have joined forces with North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) to form Count On Me NC, a free online training program.

The program helps businesses operate in a way that protects public health. More than 3,000 businesses have completed training so far.

Key points in training include social distancing, employee health, and sanitation.

RELATED: Why you should look for ‘Count On Me NC’ stickers on business windows

7:30 p.m. - The Forsyth County court system is willing to delay first court appearances in an effort to handle the coronavirus pandemic.

They've created an online check-in and request for counsel process. They said you'll be able to hire your own attorney and they can check in for you as well. 

You can access it by clicking this link, directly accessing the form by clicking this link, and calling this number (336) 779-6325.

RELATED: Skip your first court appearance in Forsyth County

5:25 p.m. - State releases COVID-19 numbers for nursing homes, rehab facilities and assisted living centers. 


Guilford County:

Camden Health & Rehab

  • 47 total cases
  • 33 residents
  • 14 staff
  • 6 deaths
  • Tuesday's numbers: 46 total cases, 32 residents, 14 staff, 6 deaths
  • 1 new case (1 resident)

Clapps Nursing Home

  • 76 total cases
  • 55 residents
  • 21 staff
  • 15 deaths
  • Tuesday's numbers: 67 total cases, 50 residents, 17 staff, 15 deaths
  • 9 new cases (5 residents, 4 employees)

Malachi House II

  • 3 total cases
  • 3 residents
  • 0 staff
  • 0 deaths
  • Tuesday numbers were the same

Piedmont Christian Home

  • 39 total cases
  • 31 residents
  • 8 staff
  • 2 deaths
  • Tuesday's numbers: 33 total cases, 25 residents, 8 staff, 0 deaths
  • 2 people have died, 6 new cases (all are residents)

Maple Grove Health and Rehabilitation Center 

  • 11 total cases
  • 11 residents
  • 0 staff
  • 0 deaths

Verra Springs at Heritage Greens is no longer on the list.

Forsyth County:

Oak Forest Health and Rehabilitation

  • 2 total cases
  • 1 resident
  • 1 staff
  • 0 deaths
  • Tuesday numbers were the same

Silas Creek Rehabilitation

  • 2 total cases 
  • 1 resident
  • 1 staff
  • 0 deaths
  • Tuesday numbers were the same

Trinity Elms was removed from the list. It was reported last week NCDHHS had made a mistake about the possible outbreak.

Alamance County:

White Oak Manor (in Burlington) 

  • 93 total cases
  • 60 residents
  • 33 staff
  • 16 deaths
  • Tuesday's numbers: 80 total cases, 54 residents, 26 staff, 9 deaths
  • 7 more people have died, 13 new cases (6 residents, 7 staff)

Peak Resources Alamance

  • 2 total cases
  • 0 residents
  • 2 staff
  • 0 deaths
  • Tuesday numbers were the same

Davidson County:

Alston Brook

  • 60 total cases
  • 46 residents
  • 14 staff
  • 8 deaths
  • Tuesday's numbers: 59 total cases, 45 residents, 14 staff, 8 deaths
  • 1 new case (resident)

Randolph County:

Universal Healthcare Ramseur

  • 10 total cases
  • 4 residents
  • 6 staff
  • 0 deaths
  • Tuesday's numbers: 9 total cases, 3 residents, 6 staff, 0 deaths
  • 1 new case (resident)

Wilkes County

Wilkesboro Health and Rehabilitation

  • 4 total cases
  • 3 residents
  • 1 staff
  • 0 deaths
  • Tuesday numbers were the same

Stokes County

Walnut Ridge Assisted Living

  • 2 total cases
  • 0 residents
  • 2 staff
  • 0 deaths

Link to full document: COVID-19 cases

5:15 p.m. - Appalachian State University said students will return to campus on August 17. 

There will be no fall break and fall classes will end on November 24th. 

4:45 p.m. - Surry County now has 135 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1 COVID-19 related death. 

2 p.m. - Gov. Roy Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force hold a briefing on COVID-19 updates. WFMY News 2 will carry the livestream here, on Facebook, Periscope and YouTube.

Key points:

  • Gov. Cooper recognized Memorial Day weekend by honoring servicemen and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice. He also encouraged people who will have cookouts and get-togethers this weekend to be safe and use proper social distancing. 
  • Gov. Cooper said NCDHHS has been working closely with the restaurant industry to develop an online training program called Count On Me NC. It is a free online training program, focused on advanced cleaning, social distancing, and best practices to keep restaurant customers safe.
  • Restaurants that take part in this online training will get a Count On Me NC sticker to put in their windows as a way of showing customers their commitment to COVID-19 safety. 
  • Over 3,500 businesses have completed the training already.
  • Consumers can search for businesses that have taken the Count On Me NC training by visiting countonmenc.org 
  • NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said they will be releasing recommendations for high school sports today. They are not recommending contact sports move forward but will be releasing guidelines for high school non-contact sports sometime this evening. 
  • When asked, Gov. Cooper said he personally would feel comfortable going to a restaurant this weekend. 
  • Cohen said restaurants are not required to report coronavirus outbreaks to local and state health officials but are still encouraged to do so. She said only a few industries are required to report coronavirus cases to health officials, including long-term care facilities.
  • Cooper said he appreciates bars, gyms, and other businesses taking efforts to keep their customers safe from coronavirus, but it's important that we keep the safety of North Carolinians first. Health officials have stated that bars and gyms are considered high-risk businesses for spreading the virus, which is why they were not included in phase 2 of the reopening plan as originally planned. Cooper said the NCDHHS will continue to work closely with bars and gyms on how to move forward and prepare them for reopening.

11 a.m. - NCDHHS reports the state has over 21,000 positive cases, and the percent of positive cases per daily total tests remains stable/flattening at 7.1 percent. Here's a look at the numbers. 

  • 21,618 CASES (UP 708)
  • 728 DEATHS (UP 12)
  • 303,224 TESTS (UP 12,579)
  • 568 HOSPITALIZED (DOWN 10); 24% inpatient hospital beds available, 18% ICU bed space available; 75% ventilators
  • 7.1% positive cases of total tests (stable/flattening)

News to note: 

  • Churches, weddings, and funerals are exempt from Phase 2's mass gathering rules. Here's what the Executive Order means for these religious events and ceremonies
  • Bars weren't included in Phase 2 of the reopening plan, but some bar owners are breathing a sigh of relief because of that. Here's why
  • A High Point woman said she found new faith when a healthcare worker unexpectedly approached her...to pray for her husband who was battling coronavirus. "I was so grateful and so thankful and he told me that he will continue to pray for my husband and I continued to walk and pray on that day," Melissa Baker said.

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2020

7:30 p.m. - The University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University announced plans to resume in-person classes in August and end fall semester early as a precaution against spreading COVID-19. 

The chancellors of the two universities sent emails to students, faculty and staff outlining the schedule. Both campuses will start Aug. 10, skip fall break and complete final exams before Thanksgiving. 

6:30 p.m. - The Fun Fourth Festival in downtown Greensboro is canceled for this year.

However, the Freedom Run event will be a virtual 5K and 10K race this year. Participants can run from any location whenever as long as it’s completed by July 4.

6:00 p.m. - The High Point Furniture Market will be longer this fall.

Instead of the traditional three-day event the market will be nine days when it’s held in October. The Market Authority said it will give them more time to spread out attendance. The Spring Market was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

5:25 p.m. - Greensboro restaurants may apply for a special City event permit to offer outdoor dining on sidewalks, public streets, or on-street parking areas during NC’s Phase II of reopening, which runs through at least June 26. 

The City has waived special event permit fees for this purpose. The permitting process includes application review, applicant outreach, and a final site inspection. 

Businesses must comply with NC Department of Health and Human Services’ Guidance for Reopening restaurants, NC ABC requirements and other applicable rules. The permitting process does not apply to outdoor dining on private property. www.greensboro-nc.gov/COVID-19. For more information or questions about the permitting process, contact the Special Events Office at cogpermits@greensboro-nc.gov or 336-373-4572.

2 p.m. - North Carolina Coronavirus Task Force gives update after the first case of a coronavirus-related illness that impacts children was reported. 

Key points:

  • Dr. Mandy Cohen says a child diagnosed with MIS-C is home and doing well. 
  • Inspector Mike Sprayberry spoke about the weather and the weather-related death in Surry County. 

RELATED: Man killed after tree falls on bedroom in Surry County

  • Sprayberry advised Memorial Day travelers should be aware of high water and take safety precautions on the water.
  • Cohen said while MIS-C is very rare, we want to be on the lookout for it. She said the health department is tracking the disease in the state.
  • In densely populated areas, more cases of COVID-19 are being reported. "As people move, the virus moves," Cohen said. That's why phase 2 reopening plans were "more modest than originally planned." Those in densely populated areas are encouraged to take precautions.
  • Gyms and fitness centers were not included because COVID-19 is spread through respiratory spread. Because of not wearing a face mask and the risk of more respiratory droplets, gyms and fitness centers were excluded from phase 2. They will be considered moving forward.
  • Early warning signs caused the task force to be "more modest" with opening bars and breweries. Cohen said she wants to see how the state does with a modest phase 2, then more opening will be considered. Reopening the state more depends on the public: washing hands, social distancing, wearing masks, etc.

1:30 p.m. - NCDHHS is reporting its first case Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19. While children generally experience mild symptoms with COVID-19, recently a possible link has been found between COVID-19 and a serious inflammatory disease in some children and teenagers who have current or recent infections. 

1:15 p.m. - COVID-19 cases in children have been reported at a daycare in North Wilkesboro. The NCDHHS told WFMY News 2 it is aware of coronavirus cases in children who attend the Double Trouble Early Learning Center. "School principals and child care operators are required to report communicable diseases to the local health department, per NCGS 130A-136. Typically, when a contagious illness is identified in a child care classroom, parents are notified via letter," the NCDHHS said in part. 

11:55 a.m. - East Carolina University announced Thursday it is cutting four sports effective immediately. The action comes as the school's athletic programs continue to suffer financially due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. ECU cut men and women's swimming and diving and men and women's tennis. School officials said the elimination of these sports along with cuts to athletics operations is part of a plan to reduce a $4.9 million deficit. 

11 a.m. - North Carolina reaches over 20,000 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Friday, according to the NCDHHS

  • 20,910 CASES STATEWIDE (UP 788) - This is the largest one-day increase since Saturday, May 16.
  • 716 DEATHS (UP 14)
  • 290,645 TESTS (UP 13,042) - This is the highest total of daily tests yet.
  • 578 HOSPITALIZED (UP 24) - 19 percent of ICU space is still available. 
  • Guilford County was the only Triad county with one new death. Guilford County now has 944 total cases and 50 deaths.
  • North Carolina continues to flatten the curve in positive cases per total tests. We are currently at 7 percent positive cases per all tests. We have been below 10 percent every day for the last two weeks.

6 a.m. - Our Text-a-Thon for COVID-19 relief in the Triad has begun! WFMY News 2 is joining forces with the Greensboro Virus Relief Taskforce to raise $1 million that will stay right here in our community to help those impacted by the pandemic. Text 40403 with the message VIRUS to get the link donate. The text-a-thon runs until 6 p.m. Thursday.

RELATED: Greensboro Virus Relief Taskforce, WFMY News 2 holds Text-A-Thon to raise $1M for coronavirus relief

RELATED: Text-to-give! Here's how you can help families in need during the coronavirus crisis

News to note: 

  • Gov. Cooper is allowing restaurants, barbershops, and salons to welcome customers indoors starting Friday, but bars, gyms, and other indoor entertainment businesses will need to remain closed for another five weeks. Cooper said Wednesday that he feels comfortable about virus data to extend partial reopenings to dine-in eating at restaurants and personal care services, but he said the order is more modest than originally anticipated because the number of overall cases continues to increase. 
  • On Wednesday, Tyson Foods announced 570 of its workers tested positive for COVID-19 at its poultry facility in Wilkesboro. That’s out of 2,244 team members and contractors at the facility who were all tested.

RELATED: What you should know about North Carolina’s Safer-at-Home Phase 2 Reopening plan

RELATED: 'I hope we can make it through this' | Businesses shocked to not be included in phase two reopening

Click here to see Wednesday's updates. 


Remember facts, not fear when talking about the coronavirus. You should take the same measures recommended by health leaders to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses. That means washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and covering coughs and sneezes.


It is important to make sure the information you are getting about the coronavirus is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC and NCDHHS. Be careful not to spread misinformation about coronavirus on social media. 

For more information visit the CDC OR NCDHHS


The state also has a special hotline set up where you can call 866-462-3821 for more information on the coronavirus. You can also submit questions online at ncpoisoncontrol.org or select chat to talk with someone about the virus.

You can also text keyword VIRUS to WFMY News 2 at 336-379-5775 to find out more information. 

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